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Hamas gives initial acceptance to Egyptian offer for reconciliation with PA

Ismail Haniya (R), Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, speaks during a khutbah, a ritual as a sermon within Muslims weekly Friday Prayer, at the Great Mosque of Gaza also known as the Great Omari Mosque in Gaza City, Gaza on 21 July, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Ismail Haniya (R), Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, speaks during a khutbah, a ritual as a sermon within Muslims weekly Friday Prayer, at the Great Mosque of Gaza also known as the Great Omari Mosque in Gaza City, Gaza on 21 July, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Hamas has given its initial acceptance to an Egyptian call for a reconciliation agreement with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, Anadolu has reported. An official source within the resistance movement was cited.

The anonymous source said that Hamas has accepted the initiative, announcing its demands for the reconciliation deal. A response is awaited from Fatah.

The initiative was proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during his meeting with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, in Cairo last month. According to London-based Al-Hayat daily, Abbas and Hamas have initially accepted the offer. The Palestinian President later responded with another offer, which Hamas has rejected.

The six-item reconciliation initiative included the dissolution by Hamas of a committee it formed to administer tasks meant to be carried out by the PA. In return, Abbas must end his punitive measures imposed against Gaza in recent months, including cuts in the electricity supply, medical aid and governmental salaries for the enclave's residents.

Read: Why is Hamas throwing itself in to Egypt's arms?

The offer also stipulated allowing the so-called Palestinian consensus government, headed by the PA's Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, to operate freely in the Gaza Strip, and for Hamas employees to be given jobs in the government. In addition, it called for the organisation of a Palestinian general election as well as talks in Cairo between all of the Palestinian factions.

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